Energy-Water-Carbon Nexus Optimization for the Path of Achieving Carbon Emission Peak in China Considering Multiple Uncertainties: A Case Study in Inner Mongolia

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Journal Article

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The Chinese government has launched a guideline for carbon emissions up to the peak (CEUP) in the 2030 target. The electric power sector has to make its own contributions to the national CO2 emissions mitigation target. In this study, a patron–client interactive optimized (PCIO) model is proposed to investigate the regional energy–water–carbon nexus optimization under the policy background of the CEUP target. Inner Mongolia, the largest energy base in China, which is also facing the prominent contradiction including the energy production and serious environmental problems, is chosen as a case study. Multiple uncertainties, including the fuel price uncertainty and output of the wind and solar power, are considered to make the optimization process more realistic. Results show that coal-fired power will gradually be substituted by the gas, wind, and solar power in Inner Mongolia to reach the CEUP target. The CO2 capture and storage technology and air-cooling systems will play important roles, especially under the strict water policy scenario. However, the achievement of the CEUP and water-saving target will be at the expense of high system costs. The PCIO model makes it possible for the decision-maker to make flexible strategies to balance the CEUP target and saving system costs. The results have demonstrated the validity of the PCIO model in addressing the hierarchical programming problems.






Environmental Sciences